After a prolonged period of teasers and speculation, Android creator Andy Rubin's new company Essential has released its first smartphone. The new brand's debut model is an uncompromising high-end device, with premium components and materials all around. The Essential's body is made of titanium and ceramic and the front is almost entirely covered by a 5.71"  QHD edge-to-edge display with a 19:10 aspect ratio. 

The built-in camera uses a concept similar as Huawei's latest flagships Mate 9 and P10, combining a 13MP RGB sensor with a 13MP monochrome chip. Image data from both sensors is merged for optimal image quality. Both lenses come with fast F1.85 apertures but there is no talk of optical stabilization. A hybrid autofocus system combines contrast, phase detect and IR laser assist methods. The front camera is capable of capturing 8MP still images or 4K video clips.

Other components include a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset, 4GB of RAM, a 3040mAh battery and 128GB of internal storage. Unfortunately there are no microSD-slot or 3.5mm headphone jack. One of the Essential's most interesting features are two connectors at the back, though. They allow for the attachment of accessory modules, similar to what we've seen on the Motorola Moto Z line of devices. The first available module is a tiny 360-degree camera, which can shoot spherical UHD (3840x1920) video at 30 fps. 

The Essential Phone will be available in four colors, Black Moon, Stellar Grey, Pure White and Ocean Depths and cost you $699 on its own or $749 when bundled with the 360-degree camera. You can pre-order from today but there's no information on shipping dates yet. 

Key specifications:

  • Dual 13MP camera (RGB/Monochrome sensors)
  • F1.85 aperture
  • Hybrid AF with contrast, phase detect and IR laser assist methods
  • 4K video
  • 8MP/4K front camera
  • Android 7.1.1
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
  • 4GB RAM / 128GB storage
  • 5.71" QHD edge-to-edge display with a 19:10 aspect ratio